Behind the Digital Image
Public Photographs on Community Platforms and Twitter As Repositories for Machine Learning and Journalistic Publications
My project “Behind the Digital Image: Public Photographs on Community Platforms and Twitter as Repositories for Machine Learning and Journalistic Publications” investigates the specificities of social media and photo-sharing platforms as public image repositories, daily media practices and legal practices, and considers ethical questions relating to the digital image as both a research tool and a research object. I pursue two sub-projects, both of which are relevant to understanding the commodification and monetization of vernacular digital images. Nuclear investigations of these projects refer to the relationship of amateur photographers, also referred to as citizen photojournalists, para photojournalists or accidental journalists, and professional stakeholders within the global image market. Since the digital world is quickly changing, field work is needed to understand processes and procedures as they happen. Therefore, I use multidimensional methods, including media ethnography; digital methods; qualitative approaches, such as in-depths interviews and participatory observation, and social media analytic tools. This paper presents an overview of the proposed project and sheds light on both the preliminary results and possible areas of future research.